Cannabinoids as a Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

Many people with Fragile X syndrome are hyper-sensitive to sights and sounds, and Electroencephalography (EEG) studies show that there are abnormalities in brain circuits. EEG studies show similar changes in Fragile X mice. So the team will use EEG tests in mice to find which drugs best reduce hypersensitivity. They can then easily move on to human EEG-based clinical trials. What they learn will tell us much more about why people with Fragile X are hypersensitive – and which drugs could best help them.

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Synaptogenix Announced Intention to Launch a Fragile X Clinical Trial with Bryostatin

Fragile X Clinical Trials

One of the most exciting kinds of work that FRAXA does is following the journey of an experimental new treatment until it is ready for trials in people with Fragile X. From an initial idea, through the development process, to clinical trials, FRAXA helps out all along the way. From an initial idea, through the development process, to clinical trials, FRAXA helps out all along the way. The recent announcement by Synaptogenix is a great example of how FRAXA funding and use of FRAXA-DVI can accelerate research on Fragile X.

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Fragile X Syndrome: In Pursuit of a Cure Webinar

A global webinar titled “Fragile X Syndrome: In Pursuit of a Cure,” took place on July 22, 2021 to commemorate World Fragile X Day. This complimentary event is co-organized with WuXi AppTec. We are delighted that more than 5,000 registered from more than 50 countries worldwide, coming together to raise awareness of Fragile X, and to foster collaborations towards effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

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Pharmacotherapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD)

This study will test CBD (cannabidiol) treatment in male and female Fragile X mice to learn how and why it works and whether gender affects responses to CDB treatment. Along with clinical trials, this study will help us to understand and optimize the potential of CBD as a behavior-regulating treatment for Fragile X.

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Auditory Dysfunction in Fragile X Syndrome in a Mouse Model of Fragile X

Elizabeth MCullough and Achim Klug

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA, Dr. McCullagh and Dr. Achem Klug at the University of Colorado investigated whether auditory neural circuits are altered in Fragile X mice. They saw minor differences in these mice compared to B6 (control) mice in several measures of auditory acuity. Fmr1 mice had increased latency to the startle response for almost all conditions compared to B6 mice, suggesting altered timing to acoustic cues. These experiments show that, consistent with patient reports and anatomical/physiological data, the auditory system is altered in a mouse model of FXS, though with some potential compensation leading to a subtle behavioral impact.

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Scientists Find a New Way to Reverse Symptoms of Fragile X

Bear lab (Bear 3rd from left, McCamphill on right)

FRAXA Investigator and MIT Professor Mark Bear and his colleagues have identified a valuable new target for Fragile X therapeutics: GSK3 alpha. Several FRAXA research teams previously identified GSK3 beta as a treatment target for Fragile X. The catch is that, so far, GSK3 beta inhibitors have proven too toxic for regular use. Dr. Bear’s new discovery opens up the possibility of developing more selective compounds with less toxicity and fewer side effects. Interestingly, lithium inhibits both GSK3 versions – alpha and beta.

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Drug Repurposing for Rare Disease and the Future of Health – The Genetics Podcast

In this double-bill episode of The Genetics Podcast, Dr. Patrick Short talks to two key rare disease researchers in the field: Dr. Bruce Bloom, CCO of Healx, and Dr. Mike Tranfaglia, CSO of FRAXA. Both draw on their wide-ranging personal and professional experiences to discuss the successes and opportunities of drug repurposing, the power of using machine learning, and the work they’ve been doing to aid in finding effective treatments for Fragile X.

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Considering Available Drugs for Fragile X: My Favorite Combination (So Far)

Which of the available drugs are best for fragile X? We tend to think of drugs according to their primary activity in the body, but very few drugs are totally selective and specific. There are differences between drugs in any given class, and these differences may be critical. Most drugs have “off-target” effects which are usually considered side effects, and it is these side effects which can have key advantages, in some cases.

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Less Active Immune System Evident in Fragile X Patients, Study Suggests

People with Fragile X syndrome are more likely to develop infections, but are less susceptible to autoimmune disorders than the overall population, a new study found. Taken together, this suggests that the immune system is underactive in this patient population. The study, titled, “The phenotypical implications of immune dysregulation in Fragile X syndrome,” was published in the European Journal of Neurology.

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Results Reported: Using EEG Responses to Sound for Fragile X Drug Discovery

Jonathan Lovelace, a FRAXA funded Postdoc at UC Riverside, has made some exciting EEG findings over the past few years studying auditory hypersensitivity in mice and therapeutic drug treatments. A big obstacle in FXS research has been establishing reliable, unbiased, and translation relevant biomarkers that can be used to determine the effectiveness of therapies. One of the most important discoveries they have made is the striking similarity in EEG biomarkers between mice and humans.

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20 Landmarks Will Light Up for Fragile X Awareness Day

Newburyport, MA (July 15, 2019) — Today, FRAXA Research Foundation announces that 20 buildings, bridges and landmarks across the United States and Canada will be illuminated teal on Monday, July 22, to celebrate International Fragile X Awareness Day. The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness of Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of autism and learning disabilities worldwide.

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